When Tom Newquist, a tough, honest, and respected detective in the Nola Lake sheriff's office died suddenly, the townsfolk were not surprised: Newquist worked too hard, smoked too much, and exercised too little. That plus an appetite for junk food made him a poster boy for an American Heart Association campaign.
"Quite good until the very end"
Private investigator Kinsey Millhone is back, sassy and self-reliant as ever. Visiting a small town in the Sierras, Kinsey aids a recent widow, Selma Newquist, who believes that her detective husband did not die of a heart attack, as reported, but from foul play. Kinsey sifts through the paper trail Tom Newquist left behind, trying to discover what he was investigating before he died. Kinsey is about to call it quits when she is severely beaten in her motel room.